I absolutely love reading about the prophets in the Old Testament. Reading in Jeremiah, he was having a moment of complaining. I don’t know about you but I can certainly relate. Jeremiah was called by the Lord to warn the people of Judah to turn from their evil ways and turn back to the Lord. Jeremiah worked to teach the Word of the Lord and each time he spoke up he was met with opposition and persecution.
In a moment of weakness after being beaten and locked up in Chapter 20, Jeremiah begins to complain to God. In verses 7-8 Jeremiah says, “O Lord, you deceived me, and I was deceived; you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long; everyone mocks me. Whenever I speak, I cry out proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long.”
Jeremiah, who had an intimate awareness of God’s presence, was struggling with insecurity in his purpose. I’ve been there. Knowing that God was pushing me out of my comfort zone to do this or say that, I’ve doubted based on my own ability, looking only at my immediate discomfort or uneasiness. I’ve cried out to God to explain the opposition, as if He didn’t already know it. I’ve wanted to shrink back and be passive about sharing or inviting or whatever God was asking me to do. But ultimately, we are all called by God for a specific purpose and one that is individual to each of us. God wants us to play our part and to do it with confidence, trusting that He will fill the spaces we can’t. But the enemy…he will drudge up every insecurity, make every obstacle bigger than it is and try his best to convince us that we aren’t making a difference and it’s all for nothing.
BUT, I love what Jeremiah says in verse 9, right after seemingly giving up. He says, “But if I say, ‘I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,’ his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed I cannot.“ That’s right, he has a moment of self-loathing but quickly realizes saying nothing isn’t an option. The need is too urgent, the potential loss is too great. He HAS to act, he HAS to keep going. He goes on in the chapter to declare the power and faithfulness of the Lord and you see over a few verses how Jeremiah talks himself right out of a pit into a position of power.
Like Jeremiah, we can’t sit back and say nothing. God hasn’t changed our lives just for us, He wants us to share our experiences to help others come to know Him. As Easter approaches and people become more open to the idea of attending church, make sure you aren’t missing a single opportunity to share the good news and extend an invitation. My pastor, Pastor Brad Barbour, shared a challenging message yesterday about not hitting the snooze button as a Christian. Take a listen here.
May it be said of us that “his word is in our hearts like a fire, a fire shut up in our bones. We are weary of holding it in; indeed we cannot!”
If you don’t have a regular church, I’d like to invite you to mine, Soul Church. We have service at 10am every Sunday at Centennial Middle, 1900 Main Campus Drive, Raleigh NC. Have a blessed week and remember, if you begin to feel weary in your purpose, know that God is still there, the same as He has always been, loving you and ever present in every challenge, high and low!!!